The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is moving ahead to fulfil the requirements of the new Ocean Shipping Reform Act 2022 (OSRA) to help restrain inflation and ease congestion across the supply chain.
On 27 July, the FMC provided the public with an accounting of the organisation’s progress, along with a general summary of the new law’s provisions.
READ: FMC launches new initiatives to combat supply chain woes
The first upcoming deadline for the Commission is to complete a rulemaking on unreasonable refusal to deal or negotiate on vessel space accommodations. The FMC said its staff initiated this rulemaking the day OSRA was enacted, and a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking public comment is expected to be published in the immediate future.
The Commission is anticipating the final rule to come into effect by the statutorily mandated deadline of December 2022.
“Rarely does the Congress give an agency a specific to-do list, but here the Congress provided us with explicit tasks with timelines intended to help solve some of the nation’s supply chain challenges,” said Chairman Daniel B. Maffei.
“These are important initiatives that will make a difference to people who depend on the movement of ocean cargo.
“Parties who are not compliant are inviting the scrutiny of the Commission and exposing themselves to the consequences for not following the law or acting in a manner inconsistent with the clear direction of Congress.”
Since the law’s enactment, the FMC has met other requirements of OSRA, including establishing an interim process for submitting charge complaints; initiating hiring actions to enhance investigatory capacity by adding nine additional staff in key functions; and enhancing the capabilities of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services.
The OSRA was first discussed to intervene on the disrupted global supply chain. Together with an increase in consumers’ demand, the COVID-19 pandemic massively contributed to boosting carriers’ operating profits.
The final approval came on 13 June, and the bill received President Biden’s signature on 16 June.